March 27, 2007

Hicks Homing In

The plea bargaining is underway, with a US military judge setting a deadline of 6am (AEST) on Tuesday for a sentencing agreement to be reached for David Hicks.

Australian Foreign Minister Mr Downer was tickled pink that the "saga" was finally over, but "indicated that when Hicks is finally released from prison in Australia, security agencies are likely to keep a watchful eye on him."

"Given what our agencies believe they know about Hicks' background, they will obviously have an interest in him but that's all very hypothetical at this stage," he told Sky News.

Will the long haired beefed-up Hicks have a welcoming band of thousands of supporters when he steps back onto Australian soil?

Ray is betting on 5,000.

We'll see, we'll see!

Update: "The images we've waited five years for" - reads a sub-headline on the front page of commuter rag mX this afternoon. There's a sane and intelligent sub-editor somewhere out there in the streets of Melbourne who believes that we've been waiting with worms-on-tongue for five years for a few drawings of David Hicks? Really?


  1. He pled guilty to one charge of "material support for terrorism":

    "Military commission officials here said Kohlmann and lawyers for both sides will work out details of Hicks's plea. Then a full military commissions jury panel will meet to decide on a sentence. Hicks faces a possible life term, but prosecutors said in recent days that they probably will not seek a term longer than 20 years.

    Defense lawyers for Hicks said late Monday night that they could not discuss details of the guilty plea or whether there is an agreement with prosecutors about a sentence, although they said the case will probably be disposed of by the end of the week. Australian officials were planning for Hicks's possible return within days so he could serve his sentence."

  2. Possibly 20 years!?

    Holy crap.

    I knew the max was life, but I think *everyone* is kind of expecting a "time served" type of deal, and he comes home a free man, not a prisoner transfer.

    If he's sent home to serve another 15 years in jail the political fall out will go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on ...

  3. Anonymous8:05 PM

    He pled guilty 'cause he just wants to come home.

    The poor bastard has had enough.

    After spending 5 years in mostly solitary confinement, ya can't blame him!

  4. In New Zealand they're all up in arms about sub-editor jobs for local papers being outsourced to a Fairfax division in Melbourne called 'Pagemakers'. Maybe The Melbourne Age outsource their sub-editor jobs to New Zealand!

  5. "Pagemakers"? Isn't that a bit of software Timmy? The NZers couldn't get their own software licence?

    I can't believe they've outsourced sub-editing work, at all, let alone outsourcing it to another country, that's almost funny, if it wasn't so stupid.

    One tends to outsource "NON CORE" business. No one outsources their core business, no one! Good bloody grief!

  6. Anonymous2:09 PM

    This Hicks saga has gone on for too long now, and is making a mockery of the trial system, in my opinion.

    Israeli professor Naomi Chazan says

    "there is one standard and one standard for all, and the challenge that is posed by terrorism is how to defend the rights of those that we don't agree with- How can we defend the rights, the basic human and civil rights, of those whose ideas we simply abhor? It is the system, the process, the courts, it is the measurement of justice that determines the nature of our civilisation."

    Justice is certainly the big loser here.

    This is no longer just about Hicks.

    This debacle has serious ramifications for us all.

  7. Tim - oh yes, I believed you the first time, I knew you weren't making it up.

    Just for once I'm on the side of the journo's with this one. How gobsmackingly idiotic to outsource newspaper subediting to ANOTHER COUNTRY! Incomprehensible.

    Kath - I agree with the human rights aspect of this situation, but Hicks ran off to fight O/S in the 1990s, then again in 2001. This wasn't a one off thing. This was a continuum of his thinking and his aspirations. He's a bad egg, and he sure as sugar is guilty of something, even if we can't quite figure out what that might be. He also DID aspire to killing lots of people. He may have achieved that end had he not been arrested.

    At least the case is nearly at an end, and then we have have another 15 years of the next chapters?

    I wonder what, if anything will be learned from this? My guess: nothing or very little. Mostly because it's a one-off situation. Unlikely to be repeated any time soon.

  8. Anonymous2:47 PM

    Caz ,I am certainly no fan of Hicks. And he may well be a bad egg!

    But it is appalling how this has all been handled.
    And as a result Hicks has gained much sympathy from some quarters.

    The bastard should have been tried years ago..
    You shouldn't be able to lock someone up(for 5years) until you can figure out what to charge them with!

    Hicks is only pleading guilty because he wants to come home.

    It cerainly IS a total cock up!

    Makes a mockery of the whole legal process.